Last season the Dallas Mavericks set an NBA record for the most efficient offense in league history with 115.8 points per 100 possessions.
But coach Rick Carlisle expects that record to be left in the dust this season and beyond.
“I’ve been taking note of all this stuff during the year,” Carlisle said before Sunday’s 121-107 loss to the Sacramento Kings. “I think these records are going to go down on a yearly basis as players become more and more skilled.
“Now the (centers) are shooting the ball with distances, as you’ve seen with our team and a lot of other teams.”
About five teams are on tap to surpass the scoring record the Mavs set last season. Kings coach Luke Walton said the amount of spacing, shot attempts and rule changes are fueling the uptick in the scoring around the NBA.
“I think the gradual rules changes over the years, they lean towards giving offenses the advantage,” Walton said. “With that, you see higher scores. . .You can’t really touch people.
“And then there’s so much space out there, you’re seeing these numbers just go through the roof right now because it’s a different game that’s ever been played before from that standpoint. Similar to the 3-point records that are all getting smashed, for the same reasons you’re seeing a lot more points which turns into a higher offense.”
Because offenses have been flourishing, that has put pressure on defense across the NBA.
“It’s a mindset, it’s a physical posture, it’s a mental and physical disposition,” Carlisle said of his team’s defense. “We just got to bring it up. Against quick dynamic teams it’s going to be hard to guard. It starts with transition, and then with the skill in today’s game you’re going into a very minute attention to detail on virtually every player out there.
“Just about every guy can really cause damage now, so it puts stress on your defense. As offensive numbers continue to go up and defenses continue to be really challenged to slow them down, there will still be the better defensive teams. The numbers may change, the thresholds may change, but it’s still important to be a sound defensive team.”
And important to just find a way to outscore the opponent.
“As the game gets faster and more skill comes into the game, I think the numbers are just going to continue to go up,” Carlisle said. “And I don’t know where it stops.
“I don’t know that it’s a bad thing that the game keeps evolving to a higher level of skill. I think that’s what it should be about.”
Carlisle praises Barnes: Probably nobody appreciated Harrison Barnes’ two-plus years with the Mavs more than coach Rick Carlisle.
When Barnes played for the Mavs frrm2016 until they traded him to the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 6, 2019, Barnes was primarily the team’s go-to player. In fact, Barnes led the Mavs in scoring with 19.2 points during the 2016-’17 season and 18.9 points during the ’17-’18 campaign.
“He was great when he was here,” Carlisle said. “He’s one of the most enjoyable players that I’ve ever worked with.
“I just loved his work ethic, his openness to expanding his game and working on new things.”
Not only was Barnes one of the Mavs’ leaders on the court, he also was constantly in the Dallas/Fort Worth area communities lending his voice and time to those less fortunate, and also making financial contributions.
“He was a great worker and he also had a great conscious for everything in the community,” Carlisle said. “Social justice, helping out those in need.
“He did an awful lot of things that people were not aware of as well, which is to me a great sign of character. He’s been greatly missed, both because he’s a terrific player and also because of his many contributions to the community.”
Luka compared to Kobe: Earlier this month, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle was discussing how point guard Luka Doncic was “wired” similar to, among others, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird and LeBron James.
Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton, who was a Los Angeles Laker teammate of Bryant’s from 2003-’12, has noticed the similarities.
“With some of the stuff you see on tape you can see what (Carlisle is) talking about,” Walton said before Sunday’s Mavs-Kings game. “The games where the composure (Doncic is) playing with all the time, you can definitely see that.”
Bryant, Walton and the Lakers captured back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and ’10, and Bryant was known for being a relentless player who constantly worked on his game. Some of those same traits, Carlisle said, are instilled in Doncic.
“I never coached Luka, so I don’t know the ins and outs of it,” Walton said. “But from what I see on television I can definitely see where that comparison comes from.”
Redick will help: Guard JJ Redick has only been on the active roster with the Mavs for a week. But coach Rick Carlisle believes he’ll be able to help his team going forward.
“The guy’s a pro,” Carlisle said. “He obviously has a (3-point shooting) skill that is great, and historically great.
“I like his approach, the way he works, the presence that he has on the team and he’s always ready to play. I’ve said this before, I think he’s going to help us.”
Redick, who was scoreless in five minutes during Sunday’s loss to the Kings, is averaging 5.5 points in 12.8 minutes and shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range in his four games with the Mavs.
Share and comment